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Forest Footprint for Cities

Calculate your city’s tropical deforestation and climate impact

Deforestation is a major threat to sustainable cities, now and in the future.

The Forest Footprint will help cities clearly understand, and reduce, the tropical deforestation they are responsible for. Deforestation driven by the consumption of everyday commodities like soy, beef, rubber and palm oil, negatively impacts cities in many ways and is a major contributor to climate change. Tropical deforestation is leading to a biodiversity crisis, shifting rain patterns, and socioeconomic breakdowns, all which can severely impact cities, even when these forests are far away. Now that cities are increasing their focus on climate emissions, the footprint of forest-risk commodities consumed by cities must be better incorporated in climate planning and carbon accounting.

The Forest Footprint is designed to help cities get ahead of this problem while we have time to act.

The Forest Footprint will provide cities with:

  • Their total deforestation impact and resulting carbon emissions
  • The most significant drivers of commodity-driven deforestation from their city
  • Guidance for mitigation or reversal of these impacts through policy change and resident engagement (coming soon).

How the Forest Footprint Works

Which has a greater forest footprint for Jakarta, beef or soy? 

What carbon savings could Detroit find if it shifted its rubber consumption to deforestation-free sourcing? 

What is the cost to biodiversity of Brussels’ coffee consumption? 

The Forest Footprint will aggregate and synthesize data on a city’s consumption of forest-risk commodities and multiply this data by the deforestation impact of these commodities, coming from the latest peer reviewed research in the field. These results are presented in an accessible “Dashboard” so that city representatives can see their total footprint for a given year, a “resident profile” that shows what an average city resident consumes on a yearly basis, as well as the commodity breakdown of the city’s Forest Footprint. The dashboard control panel allows city representatives to adjust the quantity and the impact factor for each commodity to explore how new policies might reduce their footprint in the future. Real-time climate and biodiversity indices will give these forecasts tangible impact for policy makers.

We will be footprinting 10 Cities4Forests cities in 2020-2021.
Contact us today to involve your city!

Co-development with global leaders Quito & Mexico City

In January of 2020, the Forest Footprint prototype was tested with capital cities Quito and Mexico City. Both cities contributed to rigorous Forest Footprint analyses which led to surprising results, as well as the further refinement of the tool. We are continuing to work with Cities4Forests member cities to co-create ways that this tool can reduce and eventually reverse the devastating impacts we are having on the earth’s remaining tropical forests, climate and biodiversity. Following the positive receptions of these two leading cities, Cities4Forests is looking to expand our network of cities footprinted in the coming years.